High School Class Gets Taste of 'Real World'

By Eric Olson

November 22, 2013 Updated Nov 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana-9:20 on a Tuesday morning and Jeremy McFarren’s graphic design class at Carroll High School is hard at work.

“A lot of times kids really get into graphics and t-shirts and posters and video games designs,” says McFarren, “and they don’t really know how it’s created.”

They’re finding out how it’s created in Jeremy McFarren’s class. These kids combine their computer skills with an interest in art to produce all kinds of great stuff…they design all the posters for Carroll High School’s theatre productions and student activities…beautiful pieces that get the word out about an event and do it in style. And word of their creativity has gotten out of the classroom onto the street. McFarren’s class just redesigned the logo for CASA, the Allen County agency that advocates for abused and neglected kids. Senior Rachel Erdman designed this billboard for casa.

“A lot of people were doing like sad pictures,” she says, “but I wanted to make it look happy to show what their life can be like after CASA? So I decided to use this little kid finger painting. I kind of want to pursue graphic design now because of this class.”

It’s the real world experience these kids get that sets this class apart from other high school classes and they’re about to get more of it. Allen County’s Byron Health Center has just turned to McFarren’s students for help with a corporate project.

“They’re in the middle of a redesign process rebranding for their entire organization,” McFarren says, “and it was just a perfect opportunity to take the project I already had involved in the class and really expand upon it to a real world scenario.”

The project requires designing six different logos for Byron Health and McFarren says there are other corporate clients waiting their turn to put a challenge before these creative kids, to see what the younger generation can come up with. Eric Olson, out in 21Country.

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